THE GREAT DEBATE:
CALORIES VERSUS MACROS
As many of us know there is this great debate about whether you should count your macros or count your calories. Which is more important, to hit my daily caloric needs or hit certain macro nutrient needs? The questions I want to answer is which way is going to better fuel my daily performance in the gym and life.
To start we need to define what a calorie is. A calorie is defined as a unit equivalent to the large calorie expressing heat-producing or energy-producing value in food when oxidized in the body (merriam-webster.com).
Next we need to know what a macro nutrient is. Yet again using merriam-webster.com it is defined as a substance (as a protein, carbohydrate, or fat) required in relatively large quantities for growth, energy, and health.
So on one hand we have the nutrients in a form, macros, and on the other we have energy/heat producing units. Is either one better or worse lets get to the bottom of it.
So with calories we have to dig into math. a Simple rule is what is called the 4:4:9 rule. Its Protein, carbs, fat's calories multiples by those numbers grams. So if I have 5 grams of protein I have 20 calories worth of food for that day in that particular food item. If I have 10 grams of fat I times that by 9 and have 90 calories for that particular food item. So all this does is run me around in circles making me need/want to eat food that fills a calorie count. The question is how can these calories fuel my performance. Really from a data perspective they let you know you have usable energy but how do we use this energy? That is a whole other article entirely check back next Friday for that.
So if we have energy but we use all these energy sources in different ways then it pays to know what source of energy we are getting is it a fat, protein, or carbohydrate?
This is where macro nutrients come into play and honestly are easier to track. Most of our packages tell us what are in a package in macro nutrients in grams and there are tons of simple calculators out there to figure out what your macronutrient demands are. You need your calorie count first and then can work towards your macronutrient demands from there. If you visit http://macronutrientcalculator.com/ it has everything you need to get to your macronutrient needs. You are probably going to be surprised.
In my opinion for performance you should be focusing on your macro nutrient needs and yes allow some room but you should be trying to hit those numbers everyday even on rest day. Your body will use it as fuel not as a fat store if you come the next day. Hope this helps anyone interested in there nutrition. If you have any further questions email email@example.com